Salvaging Some Sad-Ass Verses

I’ve decided to look back at some of the poems I’ve posted here and give one or two a good rewrite. For the first I chose “Incomplete.” This poem was hastily written. Have a look:

Incomplete

Night hovering above
I shutter my eyes
The hum of stars

Night hovering above
Cold grass between fingers
All the windows are silent

I shutter my eyes
And watch the distance
Memory unfurls

The hum of stars
Echoes of distant violence
Long dead to dream

Either every other line is a cliche or trite image. Even the title stinks! This was an experiment in a form I came across called Troiku, but experimentation is not an excuse for doggerel. I should probably scrap it, but let me see if there’s anything worth salvaging:

The hum of skies:
echoes of distant violence
long dead to dream

So, I went from 4 stanzas to just 1. So already it’s better, right? Well, maybe. It’s still not very good. Notice some of the slight word changes that (hopefully) make the imagery a bit more interesting. However, I think the change to “skies” is a little odd, and lines 2 and 3 are still trite. I’m not sure if “dead to dream” is cliche, but “long dead” certainly is. Let’s see if we can make a few adjustments:

Night hovers above
you, hues your eyes
to the soft motionless
of violence. 

OK, more than a “few” adjustments. I’ve returned “Night hovers above” because it’s an okayish image and I needed something to help establish the scene, but I shifted the line to present-tense and followed it with “you.” This is to make the poem more “immediate” and tense as the reader suddenly dropped into the center of the action. Still not the amazing though. I thought using “the soft motionless” as a noun was clever, but I can see now it might be confusing and pretentious. I thought “soft motionlessness” but that’s clunky and “the soft motions” is weird. Maybe “soft motion” or “soft notion”? I don’t know. Below is an alternate version: 

Night hovers above
you, hews your eyes
to echo.

I think this version is OK, but still a bit odd and cryptic. Maybe if I give it a title like “Memory,” it can give the reader some direction on how to possibly interpret lines 2 and 3. Maybe night is forcing one to confront the past? The only issue with that is “Memory” sucks as a title unless it’s offset by something really interesting.

So, yeah. Both versions: not great, but they’re certainly better than the original. Probably should give these “spawn” names though. Let’s see…

The Completion of Stars

Night hovers above
you, hues your eyes
to the soft motionless
of violence. 

And…

Discovery

Night hovers above
you, hews your eyes
to echo.

OK. I’m not the best at coming-up with titles, but beats “Incomplete,” right?

Again, both of these poems aren’t very good, but I think looking at my past work and trying to break things down objectively could be beneficial. And, hopefully, I’ve inched just a little bit closer to writing something decent.